Friday, May 04, 2007

Is Michael Vick breeding pit bulls for dog fighting?

Last week, city officials in Smithfield, Virginia, discovered a massive pit-bull breeding facility owned by Michael Vick, quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons. The reports regarding this facility are pretty grim: the carpets were blood soaked, various breeding "rape poles" were strewn about, and dogs on the property showed signs of being mistreated and malnourished.

In response, Michael Vick's claimed that he had no idea his property was being used for such purposes. That story, however, is coming under increasing scrutiny. Numerous local residents have claimed to have seen Vick in town buying pet supplies, and the massive operation seems to have been well funded. The Humane Society is threatening legal action, and the NFL has already met with Vick to figure out what's what."

"Yes, well, that's very interesting and all, but why the hell am I reading about this on TPV?" you may be thinking. Here's why. Moments ago, I found the webaddress for the kennel, After visiting that site, I noticed that "Vick's K9 Kennel" is affiliated with "MV7 Inc." (Guess what Michael Vick's number is). So, enterprising blogger that TPV is, I decided to navigate the Byzantine website for the Virginia Secretary of State -- for the insatiably curious, check out Virginia's database here -- to see if I could find "MV7 Inc." registered with the state.

And then I found something funny on the way to the kennel. It turns out that MV7 Inc. is a limited liability company who's "registered agent" for service of process -- i.e., the person who you serve papers on if you want to sue MV7 -- is one Lawrence Woodward, Jr. of the Virginia law firm of Shuttleworth Ruloff. Here's how Attorney Woodward describes himself on his firm's website:

Mr. Woodward has an extremely busy civil and criminal practice in all state and federal courts. His litigation practice includes successfully representing high-profile individuals in various civil and criminal cases that have garnered national attention. In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Woodward has negotiated numerous endorsement and team contracts valued at hundreds of millions of dollars for NFL and NBA players. He is certified as an agent with the NFL and NBA. Mr. Woodward also represents numerous businesses in Virginia in their litigation and contract matters. He is frequently called upon by companies and individuals nationwide to represent their interests in Virginia.

But wait, there's more. Googling "Woodward" and "Vick," I found these interesting remarks from Atlanta Falcons' President Rich McKay in 2004, just after Vick signed another contract with the Falcons that made him the highest-paid player in the NFL (full text of the press conference available here):

Before I bring Michael up here, I want to acknowledge a few people who have had an awful lot to do with the success of today. Joel Segal, sitting here with Michael, is his agent and represents a number of the players on our club, has done a great job representing not only Michael, but representing the interests of the NFL in being soft and sensitive to the interests that we have here in the Falcons. Larry Woodard, who is his financial advisor and supporter has been tremendously supportive to Michael as his advisor and I - as I've said to Michael and Larry both - feel comfortable with the team of people who Michael has working with him and supporting him now that this investment we've made in Michael personally and that he's earned and will be earning over the years to come will be handled well from a trust standpoint, from an investment standpoint with the kind of support he's getting today.

So, to recap: Michael Vick owns property with massive dog-breeding operation on it, with strong indications the breeding is for dog fighting (a felony). Vick denies any knowledge, but the LLC that operates the kennel has Michael Vick's personal attorney and financial advisor as its registered agent.

Credit to for keeping this story alive and piquing my interest in Vick's apparent involvement in animal cruelty. Let's hope the press -- and the NFL -- continue to investigate this troubling story.


Blogger Jimmimoose said...

Benjamin J. Riley, investigative blogger.

I'm pretty thoroughly convinced that Michael Vick doesn't know what's going on in the same room as him, much less what's taking place on his property.

8:14 PM  

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